Mesopotamia

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Slide show for CHW3M - Author: Shannon Beyer

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  • Very sorry Shannon, I've been trying to go through all my online stuff and put credit where it's due. If there are more please let me know and I will put it in.
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  • No attribution? I'd appreciate it if you would please at least give credit when you use someone else's presentation...like mine.
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  • great slideshare it helped my project on meospotamia a lot
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Mesopotamia

  1. 1. Mesopotamia: “The Cradle of Civilization”
  2. 2. Earliest Civilization: the Fertile Crescent <ul><li>earliest of all civilizations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>permanent settlements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mesopotamia Greek for “between the rivers” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tigris River and Euphrates River </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>present day Iraq </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lasted for approximately 3000 years </li></ul><ul><li>Its peoples were the first to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>invent the wheel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>work with metal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>devise a written law code </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>irrigate fields </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>devise a system of writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>develop mathematics </li></ul></ul>
  3. 4. Geographic Conditions <ul><li>Little rainfall </li></ul><ul><li>Hot and dry climate </li></ul><ul><li>Wind and rain storms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>muddy river valleys in winter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>catastrophic flooding in spring </li></ul><ul><li>Arid soil containing little minerals </li></ul><ul><li>No stone or timber resources </li></ul>
  4. 5. Then why live in Mesopotamia? <ul><li>NATURAL LEVEES : embankments produced by build-up of sediment over thousands of years of flooding </li></ul>
  5. 6. Natural Levee <ul><li>create a high and safe flood plain </li></ul><ul><li>make irrigation and canal construction easy </li></ul><ul><li>provide protection </li></ul><ul><li>the surrounding swamps were full of fish & waterfowl </li></ul><ul><li>reeds provided food for sheep / goats </li></ul><ul><li>reeds also were used as building resources </li></ul>
  6. 7. Religion <ul><li>Polytheistic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>over 3600 gods and demigods </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kingship created by gods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>king’s power was divinely ordained </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gods lived on the distant mountaintops </li></ul><ul><li>Each city was ruled by a different god </li></ul><ul><li>Kings and priests acted as interpreters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>they told the people what the god wanted them to do </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by examining the liver or lungs of a slain sheep </li></ul></ul>Ishtar, goddess of fertility, war, sex Enki, god of water, life, mediation Enlil – supreme god of air Shamash sun god and giver of law
  7. 8. Ziggurats <ul><li>Temples dedicated to the god of the city </li></ul><ul><li>Made of layers of mud bricks in the shape of a pyramid </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On platforms due to constant flooding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Temple on top god’s home </li></ul><ul><ul><li>beautifully decorated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a room for offerings of food and goods </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Temples evolved to ziggurats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a stack of 1-7 platforms decreasing in size from bottom to top </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Famous ziggurat was Tower of Babel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>over 100m above ground and 91m base </li></ul></ul>Ziggurat of Ur -2000BCE
  8. 9. <ul><li>Political structure - early form of democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent wars led to the emergence of warriors as leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Eventually rise of monarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Followed leadership of god of the city </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interpreted by a council of leading citizens or priests or leader of the city - king </li></ul></ul>Government
  9. 10. Sumerians Southern Mesopotamia 3500-2000 BCE <ul><li>Irrigated fields and produced 3 main </li></ul><ul><li>crops </li></ul><ul><ul><li>barley, dates and sesame seeds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>built canals, dikes, dams and drainage systems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>developed cuneiform writing </li></ul><ul><li>invented the wheel </li></ul><ul><li>Abundance of food = increase of population </li></ul><ul><li>First city of the world </li></ul><ul><li>Developed a trade system with bartering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>mainly barley but also wool and cloth for stone, metals, timber, copper, pearls and ivory </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Individuals could only rent land from priests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>controlled land on behalf of gods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>most of profits of trade went to temple </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Sumerians were not successful in uniting lower Mesopotamia </li></ul>Ruins of Babylon in present day Baghdad Sumerian city of Lagash
  10. 11. Akkadians Akkad- northern Mesopotamia 2340 – 2180 BCE <ul><li>Leader Sargon the Great </li></ul><ul><ul><li>unified lower Mesopotamia after conquering Sumerians in 2331 BCE </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Established capital at Akkad </li></ul><ul><li>Spread Mesopotamian culture </li></ul><ul><li>Akkadians conquered by invading barbarians by 2200 BCE </li></ul>Bronze head of Sargon
  11. 12. Babylonians 1830-1500 BCE <ul><li>KING HAMMURABI </li></ul><ul><li>Conquered Akkad and Assyria </li></ul><ul><li>Built </li></ul><ul><ul><li>walls to protect the city </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>canals and dikes to improve crops </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Economy based on agriculture and wool </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals could own land </li></ul><ul><li>Artisans and merchants could keep most profits and even formed guilds </li></ul><ul><li>Grain used as the medium of exchange </li></ul><ul><ul><li>emergence of currency : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>shekel = 180 grains of barley; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>mina = 60 shekels </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Mina was eventually represented by metals - one of first uses of money </li></ul><ul><ul><li>still based on grain </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hammurabi’s Legacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>law code </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Babylonians reunited Mesopotamia in 1830 BCE </li></ul><ul><li>central location dominated trade and secured control </li></ul><ul><li>YET AGAIN, Mesopotamia was not unified for long… </li></ul>
  12. 13. Code of Hammurabi 1800 BCE <ul><li>To enforce his rule, Hammurabi collected all the laws of Babylon in a code that would apply everywhere </li></ul><ul><li>First and most extensive law code from the ancient world </li></ul><ul><li>Code of 282 laws inscribed on a stone pillar placed in the public hall for all to see </li></ul><ul><li>Set of divinely inspired laws; as well as societal laws </li></ul><ul><li>Punishments were designed to fit the crimes as people must be responsible for own actions </li></ul><ul><li>Origin of “eye for an eye…” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If a son struck his father, son’s hand would be cut off </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consequences for crimes depended on rank in society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor = hand off, nobles = pay a fine </li></ul></ul>Hammurabi receiving law code from sun god Shamash
  13. 14. <ul><li>City of Assur - became important trading and political centre </li></ul><ul><li>After Hammurabi’s death, Babylon fell apart and kings of Assur controlled more of surrounding area and came to dominate </li></ul><ul><li>Made conquered lands pay taxes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>food, animals, metals or timber </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rule by fear </li></ul><ul><ul><li>first to have a permanent army made up of professional soldiers estimated 200 000 men </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Iron changed lifestyles in Mesopotamia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>replaced wooden wheels and applied to horse drawn chariots </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Superior weapons </li></ul></ul><ul><li>States began to revolt </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assyrian Empire collapsed by late 7th century BCE </li></ul></ul><ul><li>By 539 BCE, Mesopotamia was part of the vast Persian Empire </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Led by Cyrus the Great Persian Empire dominated for 800 years until Alexander the Great </li></ul></ul>Assyrians 1100 -612 BCE
  14. 15. Development Of WRITING
  15. 16. Development of Writing <ul><li>Click here to see the development of writing from pictograms to cuneiform </li></ul><ul><li>Pictograms: picture to show meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Ideograms: signs to represent words / ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Phonetics: signs to represent sounds </li></ul><ul><li>*Phonetics are the basis of most writing systems </li></ul>
  16. 17. Writing - 3500 BCE <ul><li>Allowed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>transmission of knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the codification of laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>records to facilitate trade/farming </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CUNEIFORM meaning “wedge shaped” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wet clay tablets with the point of a reed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>dried in the sun to make a tablet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scribes only could read and write </li></ul><ul><ul><li>served as priests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>record keepers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>accountants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spread to Persia and Egypt </li></ul><ul><ul><li>vehicle for the growth and spread and exchange of ideas among cultures </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Gilgamesh - The First Epic Poem <ul><li>Over 4000 thousand years old, written on 12 clay tablets </li></ul><ul><li>Epic battle between Enkidu -wild man, good heart and Gilgamesh – controlling king </li></ul><ul><li>The two became friends and had adventures </li></ul><ul><li>Made the gods angry so they killed Enkidu – Gilgamesh wanders the underworld in grief </li></ul><ul><li>Why important? </li></ul><ul><li>Earliest known author – Sin-leqi-unninni </li></ul><ul><li>Mentions great flood similar to story of Noah’s Ark </li></ul>
  18. 19. Royal Tombs of Ur <ul><li>Excavated from 1922 to 1934 </li></ul><ul><li>Extravagant jewelry of gold, cups of gold and silver, bowls of alabaster, and extraordinary objects of art and culture </li></ul>Jewellery from Royal Tombs of Ur 3000 BC <ul><li>Great Death Pit </li></ul><ul><li>mass grave containing the bodies of 6 guards and 68 servants </li></ul><ul><li>drank poison to accompany the kings and queens in the afterlife </li></ul>
  19. 20. Mathematics and Science <ul><li>Mesopotamia, specifically Babylon used a mathematical system based on sixty </li></ul><ul><li>Some parts of the ‘base-sixty’ system still remain today </li></ul><ul><ul><li>360 degrees in a circle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>60 seconds in a minute </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>60 minutes in 1 hour </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Calendar based on cycles of the moon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>number of days between the appearance of two new moons was set as a month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12 cycles made up a year </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Legacies of Mesopotamia <ul><li>Codified laws </li></ul><ul><li>Ziggurats – places of worship </li></ul><ul><li>Cuneiform writing </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation </li></ul><ul><li>Metal working, tools </li></ul><ul><li>Trade networks </li></ul><ul><li>Transportation – the wheel </li></ul><ul><li>Mathematics and calendar </li></ul><ul><li>Prosperous living based on large scale agriculture </li></ul>

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